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Chargers, With Tomlinson, Are Super Bowl Favorites

Discussion in 'Latest Chargers News & Headlines' started by robdog, Jan 2, 2007.

  1. robdog

    robdog Code Monkey Staff Member Administrator

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    Source: <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601079&sid=aGkuOgNIzMEM&refer=amsports">Bloomberg.com</a>

    <img width="333" height="221" title="LaDainian Tomlinson made it to the end zone on this second-half 48-yard run, but it was negated by a penalty." alt="LaDainian Tomlinson made it to the end zone on this second-half 48-yard run, but it was negated by a penalty." src="http://photos.signonsandiego.com/gallery1.5/albums/061224seahawks/JBchgSea260225x203.jpg" />

    By Erik Matuszewski

    Jan. 2 (Bloomberg) -- The San Diego Chargers, who led the National Football League with 14 victories this season, are favored by oddsmakers to win their first Super Bowl title.

    The Chargers are the top seed in the American Football Conference and will play at home throughout the playoffs, which start this weekend. San Diego has a bye in the first round.

    The LaDainian Tomlinson-led Chargers are a 5-2 choice to win the NFL championship, according to Las Vegas Sports Consultants, which advises Nevada sports books on their betting lines.

    "All roads go through San Diego,'' Mike Seba of Las Vegas Sports Consultants said in a telephone interview. "They'll be at home through the conference championship and favored no matter who they play. They've played very well this season.''

    Tomlinson, the team's All-Pro running back, shattered the league record for touchdowns in a season with 31 and his 186 points broke a 46-year-old mark held by Paul Hornung, a Hall of Fame running back and kicker for the Green Bay Packers. The Chargers had the NFL's highest-scoring offense, averaging a team-record 30.8 points a game.

    "We're just looking forward to moving on,'' Chargers coach Marty Schottenheimer said at a news conference two days ago following the team's regular-season finale. "We have other things that lie ahead.''

    Playoff Teams

    The Chicago Bears, who went 13-3 and are the top seed in the National Football Conference, are the second favorite to win the Super Bowl, according to Las Vegas Sports Consultants. The Bears have 7-2 odds to win the championship on Feb. 4 in Miami.

    The Baltimore Ravens are third at 9-2, followed by the Indianapolis Colts and New Orleans Saints at 6-1. The New England Patriots have 9-1 odds.

    The Philadelphia Eagles are 12-1, while the Seattle Seahawks are 16-1 and the Dallas Cowboys are 18-1, according to Las Vegas Sports Consultants. The New York Giants, the eighth team to reach the playoffs with an 8-8 record since the NFL went to a 16-game schedule in 1978, have 40-1 odds of winning the title. The New York Jets are 50-1, while the Kansas City Chiefs have the longest odds at 70-1.

    The Chargers will play on Jan. 13 or 14 at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, where they had an 8-0 record during the regular season. The team has won 10 straight games.

    "This team has the right attitude, the right focus,'' Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers said at a news conference after the season finale. "We're going to be tough to handle here at home in a couple weeks.''

    Super Bowl Favorite

    At 5-2 odds, a winning $100 Super Bowl bet on the Chargers would pay $250. San Diego's odds to win the NFL title entering the season were 12-1.

    "The AFC is perceived to be the better conference, and the Chargers have shown the most durability throughout the season,'' said Jeff Sherman, assistant manager at the Las Vegas Hilton Race & Sports Book. San Diego's odds at the Hilton are 4-1.

    The Chargers made their lone Super Bowl appearance after the 1994 season, losing to the San Francisco 49ers 49-26. The franchise has a 7-12 record in the postseason.

    Baltimore, which went 13-3 and is the second seed in the AFC, also has a bye in the first round. The Bears and Saints (10-6) are the top seeds in the NFC.

    The NFL playoffs start Jan. 6 with the Colts hosting the Chiefs and the Cowboys visiting the Seahawks. Both New York teams are in action the following day -- the Jets at New England and the Giants at Philadelphia.

    While the Chargers may have had the best record in the league, Rivers said every team is now in the same situation: one loss ends the season.

    "We've played 20 games, counting the preseason, and now it's really one for everything,'' Rivers said. "If you don't win it, you don't get more to play. You can't let it overwhelm you, but that's the case.''
     

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